Christian theology

Christian Theology: Is It for Me?

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3 quick questions and a controversy for you, the reader of this article, to consider:

    • Is theology a science or a relationship? Yes!
    • Is theology important to the Church? Yes!
    • Is Christian theology important for you, the reader, to study? Yes!

A definition and a controversy between two titans of modern Christian theology might help us understand the “yes” answers to each of the above questions.

Thomas Aquinas captured the heart of theology well when he wrote: “Theology is taught by God, teaches of God, and leads to God.”

Regarding the importance of theology, A.W. Tozer wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”[1]

C.S. Lewis, upon reading this quote from Tozer, wrote, “How God thinks of us is not only more important, but infinitely more important. Indeed, how we think of Him is of no importance except in so far as it is related to how He thinks of us.”[2]

Theology – Both a Science and a Relationship

Reconciling these two views can help us understand how theology is both a science and a relationship and thus its high importance to each one of us and to the Church of God.

Tozer believed how we think of God was of imminent importance because he saw how the way we think of God impacts our daily lives and the life of the church:

We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God.[3]

C.S. Lewis, on the other hand, was thinking of the coming judgment and our ultimate entry into the eternal Kingdom of God:

It is written that we shall “stand before” Him, shall appear, shall be inspected. The promise of glory is the promise, almost incredible and only possible by the work of Christ, that some of us, that any of us who really chooses, shall actually survive that examination, shall find approval, shall please God.[4]

The Essence of Theology

Both titans of Christian theology agree that knowing God, what He is like as well as who He is, leads us to become more like Him. Together they describe a study of God that is more than an intellectual science, but a living relationship.

Knowing God, what He is like as well as who He is, leads us to become more like Him. – Loren Gjesdal Share on X

To know and be known by our Heavenly Father, to love and be loved by Him, this is the essence of theology as Jesus succinctly described:

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)

Christian theology is knowing God and what pleases Him from a Biblical perspective, as most clearly, perfectly, and finally revealed in the person of Jesus. Surely nothing could be more central to Christianity, which means Christian Theology is of supreme importance to the Church.

The High Importance of Christian Theology to the Church

As the Church, the Body of Christ, is comprised of individual followers of Christ, what is of supreme importance to the Church is of supreme importance to each Christian, which is to say, it is of supreme importance to you, the reader of this article.

The Church of God (Seventh Day), recognizing the high importance of Christian Theology, both to the Church as a whole and to every individual in it, has established Artios Christian College.  Its mission goes beyond preparing pastors for licensing.

Artios’ mission is to equip every follower of Christ to serve effectively in the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-12). To be equipped means to have a solid grasp of Christian Theology in all its fullness—as a science and as a relationship.

Artios’ mission is to equip every follower of Christ to serve effectively in the Body of Christ. – Loren Gjesdal Share on X

Courses on Bible Study and Theology

Artios classes include instruction on studying the Bible to get the full and accurate revelation of God from its pages, spiritual formation to allow the Word to transform us, spiritual disciplines to deepen relationship with God, and of course, doctrine and theology to clarify our understanding of God and what pleases Him.

This winter Artios is offering a class called Christian Theology. Is such a study important? Yes. Is it for you? Yes. Why? Because it will help you know God more fully, and Jesus says that knowing Him is eternal life, it is what the Christian life is all about.


If you would like to learn more about theology, register now for THE 201 Christian Theology!


Notes:

[1] A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy (New York: HarperCollins, 1978), 1.

[2] C. S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory” (1941)

[3] Tozer, 1

[4] Lewis

Loren Gjesdal
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Loren is husband to Nickki for more than 30 years and father to 2 adult children and 1 teen. He lives in Oregon where he is co-pastor of the Marion Church of God (Seventh Day), part time property manager, and Artios Christian College Co-Director.